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[personal profile] radiocat19 posting in [community profile] hso2012_collabs4
Summary:

AA: y0ure ready t0 resume w0rk i see
AA: that was a statement n0t a questi0n
TA: yeah. ju2t giive me a miinute.
TA: kiind of haviing a moment here.
TA: sort of a per2onal epiiphany 2tyle of thiing.
TA: or maybe iit’2 a memory?
AA: i d0nt understand
TA: yeah, ii know.


Characters: Aradia Megido, Sollux Captor, Terezi Pyrope, Tavros Nitram, Kanaya Maryam
Ships: Aradia Megido <> Sollux Captor


Category One:
Tags Present: gore (mentions of)
Tags Not Used: none
No other Cat.1 tags apply.

Category Two:
Tags Present: character death
Tags Not Used: none
No other Cat.2 tags apply.

Category Three:
Tags Present: ableist language, blasphemy/profanity, eye trauma, burning, blood, vomit, manipulation/mind control, depression, violence

Additional Tags: vriska (mentioned)




a roving dust




y0u didnt deserve it, says Aradia Megido. Of everything that you have ever been.

She hugs you so hard. She hugs like something genetically related to a toaster: she envelops to burn. Her chin on your shoulder presses through meat to shallow bone. You expect her, somehow, to say something, to offer some kind of consolation, but there’s no sound, not even the rush of air in your ear. Probably because she’s a fucking robot.

She doesn’t need to breathe. Her blue mouth is perfect and still. When she steps back, she smiles, metal shutters shadowing her blank eyes.


> Sollux: Reverse.


Follow the line of sight.


-- gallowsCalibrator [GC] began trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --

GC: SOLLUX???
TA: hey.
GC: OH TH4NK GOD
GC: 1 W4S SO WORR13D, YOU H4V3 NO 1D34
TA: yeah that wa2 pretty obviious from how you haven’t me22aged me iin forever.
GC: OH
GC: Y34H 1 GU3SS TH4T W34K3NS MY C4S3 4 L1TTL3 DO3SNT 1T >:[
GC: BUT 1 W4S PR3V3NT3D!
GC: FROM M3SS4G1NG YOU 1 M34N
GC: OR V1S1T1NG YOU
GC: OR 1N F4CT DO1NG 4NYTH1NG BUT WORRY1NG
GC: 4ND STUDY1NG 1NT3NS1V3 COLOR TH3ORY!
TA: don’t tell me vk has you locked iin her ba2ement wiith no wiifii.
TA: ii knew 2he was a heiinous biitch with the moral gp2 of a malfunctiioniing priiu2bot, but that’2 ju2t exce22iive.
GC: NO
TA: ok 2o what happened.
TA: ii mean that was obviiou2ly a leadiin to some more probably terriible new2, so lay iit on me already.
GC: DO3S 1T R34LLY M4TT3R?
TA: gee iidk how about YEAH DUH IIT MATTER2, the la2t thiing ii heard from you wa2 riight before you went two take her on remember.
GC: SH3 BL1ND3D M3
TA: what??
GC: >:\
TA: holy 2hiit youre not jokiing are you.
GC: NO 1 4M NOT JOK1NG
GC: 1 4M TH3 MOST S3R1OUS
GC: TH3 ONLY R34SON 1 4M 4BL3 TO TYP3 TH1S TO YOU NOW 1S TH4T MY LUSUS H4S SP3NT TH3 L4ST P3R1G33 L4BOR1OUSLY T34CH1NG M3 TO SM3LL COLOR 4ND SH4P3 1N MY DR34MS
TA: ok thii2 ii2 me pretendiing that wa2n’t a totally bat2hiit thiing you ju2t 2aiid
TA: and a2kiing
TA: are you alriight?
GC: 4S1D3 FROM H4V1NG H4D MY 3Y3S S34R3D FROM TH3IR SOCK3TS BY BL1ST3R1NG SUNSH1N3 YOU M34N
TA: FUCK you’re riight that was a 2tupiid que2tiion.
TA: obviiou2ly you’re not ok, vk had her 2hiitty way with your oculars, how could you be ok??
GC: NO 1M F1N3 >:]
GC: 1 W4S JUST M3SS1NG W1TH YOU
GC: 1T W4S NOT TH3 MOST PL34S4NT 3XP3R13NC3 1 H4V3 3V3R UND3RGON3 BUT 1 4M B3G1NN1NG TO UND3RST4ND TH4T TH3R3 4R3 COMP3NS4T1ONS TO TH1S N3W W4Y OF P3RC31V1NG TH3 WORLD
GC: NU4NC3S TO WH1CH 1 W4S H1TH3RTO OBL1V1OUS
TA: 2eriiou2ly
TA: you couldn’t ju2t have downloaded a voiice two text functiion liike a normal per2on? wtg.
GC: SOLLUX PL34S3
GC: W3 BOTH KNOW TH4T TH3R3 1S NO PO1NT 1N DO1NG SOM3TH1NG TH3 NORM4L W4Y 1F YOU COULD DO 1T TH3 PSYCH1C DR4GON W4Y 1NST34D!!
TA: ok yeah that’2 probably true.
TA: p2 fuck you for takiing advantage of my chemiically unbalanced emotiional 2tate two me22 wiith me, that was 2o not cool.
GC: SORRY
TA: no worriie2.
GC: 1T 1S K1ND OF 3XC1T1NG THOUGH
GC: TH3R3S NOTH1NG L1K3 BL1NDN3SS TO T34CH YOU HOW TO S33 LOSS
TA: ehehe you don’t 2ay.
TA: ii2 2he dead?
GC: SH3 1S NOT
GC: SH3 1S DOWN 4N 4RM 4ND 4N 3Y3!
GC: BUT SH3 1S SO 4L1V3 TH4T SH3 H4S B33N F1LL1NG MY 1NBOX W1TH BLU3B3RRY SCR33DS N1GHT 4ND D4Y S1NC3 TH3 4CC1D3NT
TA: that’2 not alway2 a reliiable iindiicator.
GC: WH4T?
TA: ii 2hould probably go.
GC: NO DONT
TA: 2orry.
TA: ii’ll be back 2oon.
TA: ii’ve got a date two make.

-- twinArmageddons [TA] ceased trolling gallowsCalibrator [GC] --

GC: >:[


Your date is with a fileshare and an insistent ghost.


A picture of dead aradia, floating against a red background. Her expression is unreadable - it could be cold, it  could be concerned.

You pull up the most recent added documents: Aradia, like clockwork, sends image captures of the ruins every evening, glyphs and statues and labyrinths that-- seen phantom’s-eye view-- spell out unlikely words. Tonight, the shots are of some subterranean mosaic, its crumbling tile wrought with spirographs.

In your dreams, Terezi has already died, playing this game, saving this world. She wore gold. It looked nice on her, not that she would probably believe it. She can be a real flavor bigot. Actually, the gold will look better on her than you. You wish the same could be said for the flames.

You wish there were another way. Any way.

You open Trollian.


-- twinArmageddons [TA] began trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --

TA: thank you mr. jone2 the2e are goiing two be very helpful.
TA: ii can’t iimagiine any way that a bunch of 2wiirliie2 could turn out two be iirrelevant junk.
AA: 0_0
TA: yeah that’2 riight, gaze iintwo the depth2 of my eagerne22 two iinve2tiigate thii2 geometriic my2tery.
AA: y0u wanted t0 help
TA: who 2ay2 ii don’t want two help now??
TA: maybe ii’m ju2t lettiing off a liittle 2team.
TA: maybe ii’m feeliing whiim2iical and expan2iive.
TA: maybe ii’m makiing a joke becau2e you used two liike iit when ii diid that, huh, diid you ever thiink of that.
AA: 0kay
TA: fuck can we ju2t forget ii saiid that biit.
AA: yes
TA: THANK you.
TA: ok 2o what’2 the deal wiith thii2 art2y shiit anyway.
TA: are we puttiing thii2 iin a cut scene or what.
AA: cut scene
TA: you know iin the game that we’re obviiou2ly makiing here even though you haven’t actually told me that’2 what we’re doiing.
TA: becau2e i gue22 you’re more iinve2ted iin beiing 2pooky than beiing productiive.
AA: i th0ught you w0uld pr0bably figure it 0ut
TA: plea2e, you’re ju2t covering your a22 now that ii’ve 2een through your ru2e.
TA: 2een THROUGH, get iit?
TA: haa. haa.
AA: s0llux
TA: whatever.
TA: ii don’t even know why you led wiith all that 2top the apocalyp2e crap when actually your biig postmortem ambiitiion was makiing iit iin the cutthroat multiiplayer iindu2try.
AA: i wasnt lying
AA: the fate 0f the universe hinges 0n this game
TA: oh, yeah, THAT’2 liikely.
AA: n0
AA: but its true
TA: how can ii 2ave the world when ii couldn’t even 2ave you?


Nothing moves, even inside of you.


AA: y0u w0uld n0t have been able t0 c0mplete this task within the critical time frame
AA: if y0u were n0t being spurred 0n by the 0nslaught 0f guilt


You turn your head away. You try not to look at the screen as you type. And--


TA: WOW, what the FUCK??
TA: what the fuckiing fuck ii2 that 2uppo2ed two mean
TA: iis that your crappy attempt at con2oliing me?
TA: becau2e now ii’m 2ad AND pii22ed off, thank2.
AA: thats what the v0ices t0ld me
TA: why would they tell you that.
AA: i asked them
AA: ab0ut the reas0n f0r picking y0u
TA: ii thought you piicked me.
AA: i kn0w
AA: and i did
AA: wh0 else c0uld i have c0me t0
AA: (the answer is n0 0ne)
AA: (in case that was unclear)
TA: …
TA: ii’ll start the pattern detectiion program toniight.
AA: 0kay
AA: theres s0mething else i was supp0sed to say here i think
AA: im trying t0 remember what it was
AA: 0h yes
AA: thank y0u

-- apocalypseArisen [AA] ceased trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --


You open Emacseration.


> well i should thank you


But for all that Aradia thinks you’ll be moved by whips of righteous shame, you spend long weeks rendered immobile by despair. You lie flat on your back, or flat on your stomach, and let the burning of your ceaseless brain drive off the darkness when you close your eyes. Aradia rarely messages you during these times. The voices probably tell her: TA incapacitated by pointless sentiment, will be no good to you tonight. TA so tired and so meaningless that even you will not be able to squeeze use out of him.

Before you murdered her and destroyed her corpse, she used to write novels into the Trollian window, like Vriska to Terezi in the first weeks of her blindness. Except Aradia didn’t beg, didn’t wheedle, didn’t bargain: she told you about her exploration and even when her stories made you so envious you thought you would split for need, they drew the bitterness out of you and into the open air. You read them when you could and thought about them when you couldn’t; walked through the hollow avenues of her excitable prose when even coding offered no escape, was too much of you to allow you out of your skin. Your other half. Except you should never have thought that, because you were always destined to be divided. Weren’t you?

Duality is such a stupid schtick. Maybe Aradia doesn’t message you because she has nothing to say. Maybe she doesn’t even exist when she’s not working on the game, when you’re not working. Maybe she drifts in the blue fog, thinking nothing, hearing nothing, invisible and incapable of speech.

The worst part: you’d still envy her. The bitterness sits solid in your throat.


-- adiosToreador [AT] began trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --

AT: hI,
TA: 2up.
AT: wHAT A GOOD, qUESTION,
AT: fOR THE RECORD THAT WAS ME, lEADING INTO THE IDEA THAT SOMETHING IS MYSTERIOUS AND AMISS,
AT: aMISSTERIOUS, iN FACT,
TA: dude.
AT: sORRY,
TA: ehehe no actually that wa2 a good one.
TA: but do you miind getting two the poiint, ii’m kiind of dealiing with 2ome haiiry per2onal 2tuff at the moment that make2 iit diiffiicult two make wiith the pundaciiou2 2mall talk.
AT: yES, aLRIGHT
AT: i WILL CUT THROUGH, mY CUSTOMARY LAYERS OF WORDPLAY,
AT: dRILLING DOWN TO, tHE FIERY CRUX, oF THE ISSUE,
AT: rICH WITH NICKEL AND, dISTRESS
AT: iS aRADIA A GHOST,


You spend a while staring at the question in total incomprehension. You’re on your back tonight, the computer propped awkwardly on your thorax, and if you strain your eyes you can just see the fading constellations in the window above your head, like ash sprayed over a gradient blue. You don’t quite understand how anyone can live in the world, on this planet, under this open sky, and not think of the stain Aradia made on the wall; or remember the messages you came back to.

And Tavros, of all people. Tavros for whom Aradia burned. How could he not know every flat instant of her afterlife?

Maybe you’re glad.


TA: ye2.
AT: }:((
TA: how diid iit even take you thii2 long two work iit out?
TA: iit’2 been half a 2weep 2iince 2he went ecto.
AT: wELL, sHE HASN’T BEEN ESPECIALLY, cOMMUNICATIVE
AT: oR REALLY, aT ALL
AT: i ONLY FOUND OUT BECAUSE, aN ANIMAL PAL, sENSED HER IN PASSING
AT: wHILE i WAS IN CONTROL OF THEIR BRAIN,
TA: “2en2ed her iin pa22iing”??
AT: yOU KNOW,
TA: ii DEFIINIITELY DON’T.
AT: lIKE, uSING THEIR HEIGHTENED BEAST PERCEPTION ORGANS,
AT: wHICH CAN DETECT STRANGE TREMORS IN THE FABRIC OF REALITY,
AT: tHAT WE COULD NEVER DISCERN,
TA: ok but you know that’2 liike a make-beliieve 2tory riight.
TA: not an actual thiing.
AT: nO, nOT REALLY,
TA: ye2 really.
AT: nO,
TA: ye2.
AT: i THINK MAYBE, yOU ARE EXTRA INCLINED TO SKEPTICISM RIGHT NOW, bECAUSE YOU’VE HAD TO DEAL WITH SO MANY, fANTASTICAL EVENTS AND HARDSHIPS,
AT: bUT i ASSURE YOU,
AT: iT’S AN ACTUAL THING,
TA: 2keptiicii2m my a22.
TA: II’M beiing ratiional, you’re ju2t full of iimagiinary bea2t leaviing2 becau2e you iinteract exclu2iively with mental ca2e2 and ob2e22iive 2hutiin2.
AT: wHICH ARE YOU,
TA: both, numbnut2.
TA: keep up.
AT: wELL, tHAT’S YOUR OPINION, tO WHICH YOU ARE ENTITLED, cERTAINLY,
AT: (eVEN THOUGH i THINK THAT, yOU ARE PRETTY COOL FOR A SHUTIN,)
AT: (pROBABLY COOLER THAN YOU GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR EVEN WHEN NOT,)
AT: (eNMESHED IN, uHH, “hAIRY PERSONAL PROBLEMS”,)
AT: bUT THE FACT IS, tHAT GHOSTS, aRE WEIRDER THAN THE IDEA OF ANIMALS BEING ABLE TO SCENT GHOSTS,
AT: iN FACT, iT’S BECAUSE OF THAT INTRINSIC STRANGENESS,
AT: tHAT ANIMALS REGISTER THEIR PRESENCE,
AT: aNIMALS BEING, bY NECESSITY, mORE SENSITIVE TO THEIR ENVIRONMENT, tHAN TROLLS,
AT: mORE ATTUNED TO ITS ORGANIC INTEGRITY,
AT: aND MORE ABLE TO SORT THE SUPER, fROM THE NATURAL,
TA: let me gue22 they can al2o sniiff out a faiiry at fiifty pace2
TA: and ta2te all the color2 of the wiind liike tz on a good triip.
AT: aCTUALLY FAIRIES WOULD BE PERFECTLY VISIBLE TO THE AVERAGE TROLL,
AT: iF THEY WERE A REAL THING,
AT: aND NOT,
AT: a BEAUTIFUL DREAM,
AT: a FAIRY WOULD BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH BOTH TROLLS AND GHOSTS, tHOUGH, bECAUSE THEY ARE, mORE THAN PARANORMAL,
AT: iT’S THEORIZED THAT FOR A FAIRY OUR ENTIRE UNIVERSE, wOULD BE AS INSUBSTANTIAL AND UNCANNY, aS A GHOST,
AT: a SORT OF IMMEDIATE BLIP,
AT: iN THE VAST DIAPHANOUS FABRIC OF THEIR AWARENESS,
AT: iT’S ACTUALLY QUITE FASCINATING, iF, lIKE ME, yOU SOMETIMES WISH YOU COULD APPROACH REALITY,
AT: fROM AN UPWARDS, kIND OF PERSPECTIVE,
AT: aNOTHER, bEAUTIFUL DREAM, iF YOU WILL,,,
TA: oh my fuckiing god.
TA: ii can fly, dumba22.
AT: oH,

-- twinArmageddons [TA]’s computer fell from its precarious perch with a resounding crash! --


You get off the resting slab.

It takes almost unimaginable effort; you are propelled only by the fact that your anger moves, beat by beat, ahead of your thoughts. You rise and you almost fall over, and you cross the floor to your door in six long strides, your vision gone to violet. Violent.

On the stairs, you calm down, your bloodpusher slowing in the shelter of your ribs. You climb to the roof, taking two steps at a time, dreading the moment depression catches up with your knees, stickier than gravity has ever been and far more deep.

Your lusus is waiting for you. His huge white body turns out of time with his heads, but he turns, to you, chains clanking, flesh scraping soft over the rooftop tile. Under the greening moon his eyes are dark as holes.

You go to him. You wrap your arms around his vast equator and lean your forehead into the doughy curve of his abdomen. “Can you,” you say, and then don’t finish. Don’t know how to end.


A picture of Sollux on top of his hive, huddled in his Lusus's embrace, surounded by the blue-green glow and red lights of the city around him.

Your lusus makes a sad low noise, his bulk shuddering. He’s mountainous against the starry dark. He’s not agitated, you think. Just tired, and stupid, and mute as the morning.


-- twinArmageddons [TA] began trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --

TA: talked two TV today
TA: he fed me 2ome crap about bea2t nozzle2
TA: ii thiink he mii22e2 you.
TA: but you’re not here. and even iif you were, would my lu2u2 really know?
TA: wouldn’t ii know iif my lu2u2 would?
TA: maybe.
TA: iit’2 niice here, though.
TA: ii can 2ee the ciity.
TA: all tho2e people.
TA: iit’2 funny, becau2e ii pretty much dii2liike almo2t everyone ii’ve ever met and thiink they’re complete raviing 2hiitheads
TA: but ii’m glad that we’re goiing two 2ave them.
TA: ii’m glad they’re goiing two be 2aved.
TA: ehehehe plu2 iif ii had to lii2ten two them all beiing doomed beforehand ii’d go completely nut2.
AA: s0llux
TA: 2hh.
AA: y0ure ready t0 resume w0rk i see
AA: that was a statement n0t a questi0n
TA: yeah. ju2t giive me a miinute.
TA: kiind of haviing a moment here.
TA: sort of a per2onal epiiphany 2tyle of thiing.
TA: or maybe iit’2 a memory?
AA: i d0nt understand
TA: yeah, ii know.


> I am not willing you should go


-- grimAuxiliatrix [GA] began trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --

GA: I Believe You Are Laboring Under A Misconception
TA: i2 that 2o
GA: You Think She Is Essentially The Same Person You Know
GA: Hardened By Circumstance But Fundamentally Unaltered
GA: Shes Not
GA: I Know You Trusted Her A Great Deal Once But
GA: Times Change
GA: Or They Should
TA: kn ii appreciiate your concern but ii’m pretty sure troll anne riice’2 conver2iion two the clown cult affected you more than iit diid me.
GA: Yes Please Mock My Preferences As A Reader That Is Definitely A Fresh And Unprecedented Approach To Disagreeing With Me
TA: lol har2h.
TA: you know how ii priize my oriigiinaliity 2tat.
GA: Normally This Is Where I Would Go On A Malicious Tangent Regarding Your Hobbies And Your Inexplicable Belief That Rich And Well Rounded Characters Can Be Generated From The Ether By Means Of Quote Stats
GA: But I Will Not Be Distracted From The Subject At Hand
TA: and what’2 that huh.
TA: come on lay iit out for me.
GA: Aradia Megido Is Dead
TA: no 2hiit, ii brutally 2laughtered her my2elf.
GA: Arguable But Irrelevant
TA: pretty 2ure iit’s completely relevant.
TA: 2ince you want to lecture me on death.
GA: She Would Be As Lost To You If She Had Perished In Her Sleep At A Ripe Though Caste-Appropriate Old Age While You Sat At Her Coonside Holding Her Sopor Sticky Hand
TA: yeah how ii2 your moiiraiil doiing.
GA: Sollux
GA: You Must Know That I Miss Her Too
TA: ...
TA: two miinute2.
GA: What
TA: give me the 2coop. two miinute2. 2tartiing liike twenty 2econd2 ago, ii’m kiind of a bu2y guy.
GA: Yes I Know
GA: Ultimately Its Your Business That Concerns Me
GA: You Are Enacting A Creative Edifice Without Ever Having Fathomed Its True Foundation
GA: Your Involvement Was Of Course Preordained From The Start
GA: We All Have An Important Job To Do
TA: 2o when do we get two the part where you 2tart fu22iing becau2e ii’m 2tartiing two feel neglected here.
GA: Now
GA: Now Is The Advent Of Fuss
GA: And Also Sincere Concern
GA: Its One Thing To Work Yourself To The Cartilage Frame Because For Example You Have Dreamed Of Divinatory Cloud Clusters In Which You Have Seen Yourself Performing The Selfsame Actions And Have Seen Them Bear Fruit
GA: Hypothetically Speaking I Mean
GA: Or Else To Do So Because You Are Devoted To The Cause
GA: Or Even Really Understand What The Cause Entails In All Its Horrifying Magnitude
GA: Its Another Matter Entirely To Bleed Yourself Dry For A Dead Thing
TA: wow diid you mii22 the 2peech about loviing trollkiind or WHAT.
TA: ii knew ii 2hould have made a memo.
GA: I Have Dispatched Many Zombies In My Life
GA: They Were Relentless Hungry Driven By A Single Goal
GA: Mere Brilliant Afterimages Of The People They Used To Be
GA: Nothing So Singleminded And So Strange Can Remain Long In This Life They Are Anomalies They Burn The Empty Air And They Wink Out Like Flames
GA: Does This Sound Significantly Familiar At All Or Should I Add A Meaningful Mention Of Their Preference For Knee Socks
TA: ye2terniight 2he u2ed three emotiicon2 iin one convo
TA: can a zombie do THAT??
GA: What Are You Going To Do When She Goes
TA: your two minute2 are up.
GA: Okay
GA: Keep Doing What Youre Doing Im Sure No Complications Whatsoever Will Arise From Your Need To Know Basic Information Sharing And Your Hopeless Devotion To An Angry Spirit
GA: In Conclusion Yay Teamwork
TA: look.
TA: ii don’t know about all that other bull2hiit, maybe there wa2 a poiint there, ii kind of zone out when you do 2layer anecdote2.
TA: but aa’2 not angry.
TA: ii WI2H 2he wa2 angry, ok? but 2he’2 not.
GA: Thats What You Think
TA: no 2hiit, troll 2herlock.
GA: Your Sight Is Unfortunately Limited
GA: You Are Pressed To The Margins Of Your Power While The Center Consumes Itself
TA: excu2e me who of u2 ii2 the p2ychiic here.
GA: You
TA: thank you.
GA: Youre Welcome
GA: I Just Hope She Tells You In Time

-- grimAuxiliatrix [GA] ceased trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --

TA: FUCK.
TA: lou2y 2tupiid goddamn 2upportiive friiend!!


She’s right, of course. In the end they all were right.

Aradia was lying from the start. Working with Vriska, of all people, to pull the wool over your eyes. To keep it there. The 0missi0n in missi0n. When you go to the roof your lusus scans the skies and you see nothing, see an absence full up with stars. It’s possible that she passes over you, or through, but if she does it registers as nothing more or less than lasting cold.

When you die, long hours later, it’s in honey and blood, your life one miserable string of what Tavros would probably call personal motifs. She comes to your window and puts you to sleep directly, the soporific touch of her power as gentle as an embrace, as genocide foretold by leading questions. In your sleep, you find your face half-drenched in sweetness, and your head likely to burst from distant sound.

(She watches you. You never see her do it.)


A picture of Aradia floating  by Sollux's window, her hand resting on the glass, her eyebrows furrowed with distress and concern.

You wake up on Derse.

This time the voices never stopped. They lap at you. You’re wearing snazzy purple pyjamas, no glasses-- a cloak of light and a sheen of expanding joy. If you listen hard you imagine you can hear a familiar snore; but you think that’s just the horrors, just the squirming of the dark.

And yeah, by the time you’ve flown to your planet, she’s already soul-in-bot and foot-in-ass with the resident sweatatron. It makes you want to bite your tongue in two to see him follow her, to watch her snarl at him like she cares. The Heir of Void never knew her living; he covets the hole she left behind. But you wiped her bones from the face of Alternia with lasers from your brain. The first time you see her in person with your own eyes, and she’s made of metal because you turned her flesh to smoke. You never had the right to miss her, not even when she left you to the mercy of your dreams.

Mostly you try not to think about it. You hang out with Feferi, who’s awesome, and live your life for the first time as exposition; too blurred by the demands of the game to feel out every moment of your misery or mania. You watch your best, smartest creation unfold in crystal arrogance. You miss her anyway.


> .
> ..

> skip to the start.


A picture of Sollux sitting in the rubble and destruction of Aradia's hive; there is blood around him, and what could be tears or mind honey is streaming down his face.

When Vriska eventually lets go, it feels

like waking.

You’re on your knees, and everything is silent. Vriska, apparently, can shout down fate, if only for a little while. If only after dragging you through miles of cold sky, your outline screaming blue.

You cough honey into your empty hand. You think, I could get used to this, and look around you: up.


-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --

AA: s0llux
AA: listen t0 me


-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --

AA: this is imp0rtant
AA: it d0esnt matter what y0u think y0u saw
AA: it d0esnt matter what y0u think y0u know
AA: there is n0 time f0r you t0 be afraid
AA: if y0u want t0 save the w0rld.


Her blood forms fractal patterns on the wall.

You look for her, in the shitheap rubble of her hive; you trace the thinning red. You step on ashes and then take off your shoes, and walk barefoot out of what must have been her parlourblock, and vomit all over her lawn. You’re a puking grub, an animal, a video on the internet of a rustblood who put their lusus in the microwave to warm it. You’re an idiot. Her lusus is a sac of boneless meat, percussed to jelly. This discovery prompts you to deduce that there is nothing left in your stomach but honey, and then not even that; you double over, spitting water, your wet insides draped pale across grass.

When the voices start up again, you leave.

(Hers isn’t there. Wasn’t, ever, there. You’re almost sure. Unless her doom only settled into the realm of sound once you were already in flight, in which case--

In which case nothing. In which case never.)

On the way home, you imagine her coming after you. You almost expect it. Catching up with you, bruised like an ancient apple, but more angry than hurt. “You jerk, you think you can just barf on my fresh-mowed lawnring and get away with it??” Because it’s not like she would blame you for anything else, right? She would have forgiven you before her body hit the ground. And, hey she probably grew wings, while she was at it, and started trailing fairy dust like one of TV’s posters; like blood.

You hate yourself. You loved her. You almost turn around.


-- apocalypseArisen [AA] is now an idle troll! --


The messages are waiting for you when you get back. On the horizon, dawn stripes the sky with pink, the streaks like scars or marks of too-new growth.

Your hands hover over the keyboard without seeking permission.


TA: but ii kiilled you


You don’t send it.

You get up, so violently the chair spins across the room, though then again how can you say violent without meaning: the lawn, those broken stones, the voyeuristic stars? You spin and rest both hands on the wall, supporting yourself, for a still moment, with arms outstretched. You slam your head against it like it’s worth shattering. The pain strikes like sudden blindness, and flowers from two black roots into the clamor of your skull.

You go back to the husktop. You pick it up. You look at the window, full of dangerous light, and you put it down again.


TA: what do ii have two do?


> die


You find her in front of the star.

Her silhouette is like the pupil of a massive green eye. “I thought you couldn’t leave,” she says, looking surprised, and it occurs to you that it’s the first time you’ve tried to break out of something without knowing it couldn’t be done.

It’s nice.

She smiles at you in bas relief, the only bearable darkness in the bright bright night. Looking around, you think you can remember programming this void, but not this light.

“Depth perception is overrated!” she observes, and then: “You’re not going to fall.”

“I know,” you tell her. “I can fly, remember?” You think of Tavros, who’s dead, and Vriska, who’s dead too. And Kanaya turned into something she would have killed, once. It’s a little weird. You’re sad, possibly, somewhere at the bottom of your half heart. But maybe the thing that needed undoing was your lives all along; maybe your wigglerhood was the freak accident the universe needed to destroy. All that mindless pain, levelled to dust.

“Oh,” Aradia says. “Right.” You think she might be laughing. You turn to look at her head-on, and find her face composed, lit finely and bleakly by roaring fission-green.

“Do you remember?” you ask, seriously. “Because, you know, I’ve heard some wacky theories--”

“They were wrong,” says Aradia. She takes your hand.

“Okay,” you say. “Because, you know, you don’t seem like a reality-external alien whose consciousness is so vast that all of time and space register as a mere ribbit.”

“Number one, fuck you, I am so done with croaking,” she says.

You wait for it.

She smiles like the sun. “Number two, correct! I am reality-internal. I am right here. I was always here, and I am never going to leave. If paradox space couldn’t get rid of me for all that time that I was a floating contradiction, I don’t see why it would now that I have wings and can actually change my clothes.”

“For the first time in over a sweep,” you say, and you hug her so hard. Being a ghost, it turns out, is nothing like so transparent as you thought it would be. In the circle of your arms you feel her ribcage expand.


A picture of Sollux and Aradia embracing in front of the green sun; their faces glow with delight, love, and if the green sun follows the example of our own sun, nuclear fusion.

“Also,” she whispers into the side of your head, “I can see the future. There are so many pyjama variations in my future, Sollux, you don’t even understand.”

“Right, because you definitely couldn’t see the future when you were a psychic ghost.”

Her wings beat, once, the spots opaque as eyes. “Yeah, but now I’m Maid of Time. It’s the medium in which I move! Sort of like... bear with me here... a fourth dimension.”

You open one eye-- the only eye you have left-- and stare at her with it. She beams at you. Her hair curls around her face like a frame, and you’ve never been this happy to see her limited. Infinite and bound. It’s hard to think about what it actually means, to see all time as an axis of motion. With everything you’ve ever done to one another objects in distant space.

She burned for this. She died a second time in flames, and left behind a rubble. You think, dizzily, that though you coded the secret heart of Derse with all the rest, you never dreamed-- that she would take the constraints you made for her and use them to worm her way outward. Through.

“I can’t believe you just made another joke at the expense of my brand new disability,” you say, aloud. “What is that now? Three?”

“Two,” she says, without a trace of shame. You kick her in the shin. She tightens her grip; she holds you, and holds you. In silence you believe her.



fst - a roving dust
1. Don't Haunt This Place - The Rural Alberta Advantage
2. Analyse - Thom Yorke
3. Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. Summers with the Ephemeral Wasp - Kiss Kiss Fantastic
5. Roll Away Your Stone - Mumford and Sons
6. Calamity Song - The Decemberists
7. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead - Stars
8. Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles

Date: 2012-08-22 12:48 am (UTC)
aloice: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aloice
Oh my God, this is beautiful. Sollux's pain after he killed Aradia... my heart.

Date: 2012-08-22 11:23 pm (UTC)
raakelh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] raakelh
Gee, this is exactly the kind of fic that hits me the hardest: the kind that fits seamlessly with canon and points out all the emotional parts you never really dwell in or believe while reading the actual work. Dang.

Date: 2012-08-23 12:13 am (UTC)
rydia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydia
The first time you see her in person with your own eyes, and she’s made of metal because you turned her flesh to smoke.

That line made me choke up. Wow. Just, wow. Your team has brought forth some amazing things this year, and this is just the grand finale. This is superb.

Date: 2012-08-23 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ferrrox
OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG YOU USED "DON'T HAUNT THIS PLACE" I'M DIE

no though really this entry is gorgeous and so are y'all! wow!

Date: 2012-08-23 03:56 am (UTC)
lionpyh: A glass liquor bottle with a panther shape molded into the glass. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lionpyh
This is one of the, maybe the, best Solluxes I've ever read, and his interactions with Aradia are perfect, which is not a word I use lightly. I mean that it's really lamentably rare to find depictions of them as they are in canon, which is: tangled up in guilt, destiny and inevitability, kind of hilariously rude to each other, and also determined and fated, if you will, to meet each other, to reunite, and be redeemed – not morally but literally, like, to be recovered, to be brought back. And this team (unsurprisingly!) GETS IT, one hundred percent, and I am really glad. And the art, good Lord, so beautiful: the limited palettes, their separate smallness in the world, and the final nearness of their reunion. You knocked it out of the park, team.

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